Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

Introduced Version Senate Bill 112 History

DOWNLOAD  wpd  |  Email


sb112 intr
Senate Bill No. 112

(By Senator Prezioso)

____________

[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

____________




A BILL to amend and reenact §18-5-18b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18A-4-2b, all relating to public school counselors; making legislative findings with respect to the importance of counseling for providing a thorough and efficient education for all students; redefining school counseling and instituting annual professional development for school counselors; establishing the duties of counselors; providing that no more than one fourth of their work time may be dedicated to administrative duties; limiting recommended number of students per counselor by the school year two thousand ten; providing for supplement for certain additional students; providing that certain school counselors are to be paid a supplement; providing for reimbursement for expenses in attaining certification; and requiring state board rule conform to national standards for counseling programs to the extent practicable and certain other provisions, including minimum standards for supervision of counselors and minimum required annual staff development related to school counseling.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-5-18b of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18A-4-2b, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-5-18b. School counselors in public schools.
(a) The Legislature finds that high quality school counseling programs impact student skills and facilitate learning opportunities in an active and preventive manner that ensures all students can achieve school success through academic, career and personal/social development experiences. As specialists in child and adolescent development, school counselors coordinate the objectives, strategies and activities of a comprehensive and developmental school counseling program to meet the personal, social, educational and career development needs of all students. School counselors advocate for all students as they strive to meet the challenges and demands of the school system and prepare for the transition to options after high school. School counselors call attention to situations in schools that are defeating or frustrating students and thereby hindering their success. School counseling programs empower students to overcome obstacles to school achievement and ensure access to appropriate services for students with varying degrees of needs. Therefore, high quality school counseling services are essential for a thorough and efficient system of schools wherein all students achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize their full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community.
(a) (b) A school counselor means a professional educator who holds a valid school counselor's certificate in accordance with article three of this chapter.
(b) (c) Each county board shall provide counseling services for each pupil enrolled in the public schools of the county. By the school year two thousand ten, and thereafter, the recommended number of students per counselor shall be two hundred fifty. If the number of students for whom a counselor is responsible exceeds two hundred seventy-five, the counselor shall be paid an additional salary supplement of five hundred dollars for the school year, which supplement shall be increased by an additional five hundred dollars for each additional twenty-five students.
(c) (d) The school counselor shall work with individual pupils and groups of pupils in providing developmental, preventive and remedial guidance and counseling programs to meet their academic, social, emotional and physical needs in accordance with the rules established by the state board; including programs to identify and address the problem of potential school dropouts. The school counselor also may shall provide consultant services for parents, teachers and administrators and may shall use outside referral services, when appropriate, if no additional cost is incurred by the county board.
(d) (e) The state board may shall adopt rules consistent with the provisions of this section that define the role of a school counselor based on the "National Standards for School Counseling Programs" of the American school counselor association. A school counselor is authorized to shall perform such services as are not inconsistent with the provisions of the rule as adopted by the state board. To the extent that any funds are made available for this purpose, county boards shall provide training for counselors and administrators to implement the rule as adopted by the State Board. The rules adopted by the state board shall conform to the extent practicable to the national standards for school counseling programs established by the American School Counselor Association. The rules shall further include: (1) Minimum standards for the supervision of counseling services at the state and county level to ensure a uniform high quality in the delivery of counseling service to all students; and (2) minimum required annual staff development approved by the Department of Education for all counselors employed in the public schools.
(e) (f) Each county board shall develop a comprehensive drop-out prevention program utilizing the expertise of school counselors and any other appropriate resources available.
(f) (g) School counselors shall be full-time professional personnel, shall spend at least seventy-five percent of work time in a direct counseling relationship with pupils, and shall devote no more than one fourth of the work day their work time to administrative activities, Provided, That such activities are counselor related including, but not limited to, college and career planning programs, career and college fairs, financial aid workshops, organizing group college visits, bringing in career focused speakers, disseminating information on college organized student visitation programs and disseminating information on opportunities for job shadowing, community service, work experience programs related to career majors and the availability of dual credit and college courses for high school students; classroom guidance programs including computer labs to educate students about the changing job market; organizing developmental guidance, preventive focused programs and other such student-centered activities consistent with the national standards for school counseling; writing letters of recommendation for students containing discriminate information; providing a communication link to community mental health agencies and resources; supervising the maintenance of student records; and maintaining accurate counseling case notes. The duties of counselors may not include: Filing student records and forms; data entry; duplication of documents and materials for distribution; and other activities of a clerical nature that limit the amount of time available for counselors to spend on their counseling duties.
(g) (h) Nothing in this section prohibits a county board from exceeding the provisions of this section, or requires any specific level of funding by the Legislature.
CHAPTER 18A. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-2b. State minimum salary supplement for certified and licensed school counselors.

(a) The Legislature finds that school counselors who meet the requirements for national certification through the national board for certified counselors or who are licensed professional counselors in this state are highly trained and capable professionals who possess a superior level of knowledge and skills necessary to provide the high quality counseling services needed to ensure that all students receive a thorough and efficient education in the public schools of this state. The purpose of this section is to create an incentive for all school counselors to increase their knowledge and skills by providing reimbursement for national certification expenses and an additional statewide salary supplement for school counselors who hold national certification by the national board for certified counselors and for school counselors who are licensed in this state as professional counselors, or who are both nationally certified and licensed.
(b) In addition to any amounts prescribed in the applicable state minimum salary schedule, each professional educator employed as a school counselor who holds national certification by the national board for certified counselors or who is licensed in this state as a professional counselor, or who is both nationally certified and licensed, shall be paid annually a supplement of two thousand five hundred dollars. The payments shall be paid in equal monthly installments and shall be considered a part of the state minimum salaries for teachers.
(c) Subject to an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose, a school counselor who attains national certification by the National Board for Certified Counselors on or after the first day of July, two thousand five, shall upon an application to the Department of Education be reimbursed for expenses actually incurred in attaining the certification. The reimbursement shall not exceed one-half the certification fee paid by the applicant and six hundred dollars in additional expenses approved by the Department of Education. If the appropriation in any one fiscal year is not sufficient to pay all of the approved applications received by the Department in the order they were received, applicants not paid shall have a prior claim on any funds appropriated in the next fiscal year.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to redefine school counseling and institute annual professional development for school counselors. Under the bill, the duties of counselors are established; only one-fourth of their work time may be dedicated to administrative duties and by the school year 2010, the recommended number of students per counselor shall be two hundred fifty with salary supplements provided to counselors assigned more than 275 students. The bill also provides that each professional educator employed as a school counselor who holds national certification by the national board for certified counselors or who is licensed in this state as a professional counselor, or who is both nationally certified and licensed, shall be paid annually a supplement of two thousand five hundred dollars and a school counselor who attains national certification by the national board for certified counselors on or after the first day of July, two thousand five, shall upon an application to the department of education be reimbursed for expenses actually incurred in attaining the certification. The duties of counselors are clarified to enable counselors to spend all of their time on counseling.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§18A-4-2b is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature **